My final major project is well underway and my theme is a WW2 experience my mother had on the night of 19th March 1942. She was sheltering under the stairs in her house in Hutton Cranswick, East Yorkshire during an air raid with parents and brother when a bomb crashed through the roof but didn’t explode. The house was virtually destroyed by they all survived with barely a scratch and were rescued the next day. The emotional impact of this experience on my mother has been significant throughout her life. This project is an attempt to portray the impact of that traumatic event in an artistic outcome.
This experiment looked at whether multiples of an incendiary bomb (life size German WW2 bomb to illuminate the land dropped from a bomber) could be used to puncture the walls/roof of the installation space. The objects have been created using papier-mâché – my thinking is that the newspaper could be purchased from the village shop and hence add a contemporary reference. Note how the newspaper was wrapped around the objects in a spiral fashion (not randomly applied) to add to the sense of a spinning world. I would consider varnishing a final set of objects to give them a sheen and more reflective surface. Multiples were created at different sized diagonal cuts so that they would enter the space at different sizes and angles.
The idea of the objects entering the installation space from the walls and ceiling could potentially disrupt gravity. Playing with gravity is an interesting direction – in a dark space we lose a sense of up and down and of a safe exit, hence by positioning these objects as if they have come in from all sides gives a feeling of a world that is spinning around and there is no safe exit.
Various arrangements were tested below to see what shapes and shadows could be generated. The addition of a full version of the object suspended in space provides a reference point back to the full form of all the others emerging from the wall – we assume that the other partially shown objects are more of the same. My thinking is that a single full object is sufficient to show this – any more would pollute the scene and not give the viewer enough work to do.
These forms have real potential as subtle lighting will create fascinating shadows and highlights and an eerie scene. In an enclosed space this could create a confusion of scale in the mind of the viewer – had they entered a small world such as the interior of a cell, or are they seeing Armageddon on a treeless battlefield? These are tricks that mimic the workings of a child’s mind in how it conjures up fantasy and we could create quite an uncomfortable feeling in our under stairs installation that is just the impact we are looking for.
The next stage is to consider how to add these objects to the exhibition space – do we risk cluttering things too much and will they overpower the ‘milk drawings’? Some sketches are required to mimic various options.